The Google Nexus 7 was, for a long time, the ultimate compact tablet. With an attractive price, great build and speedy software updates direct from Google, it was the pure Android experience many craved so dearly. However, as Google has shifted away from compact tablet territory with its latest Nexus 9, the Nexus 7 feels somewhat lost amidst a sea of competitive rivals, including the giant-killing Tesco Hudl 2.
With that said, since our original review was published, the Nexus 7 has received the Android 6 Marshmallow update. Based on the progress made in the tablet sector, we felt it timely to update our Nexus 7 (2013) review.
It should also be mentioned that availability is scarce, where you’ll be able to find the tablet for around £110 on eBay, cheaper than our original review that was based on a £170 price tag.
Although you could never call the original Nexus 7 ugly, the silver plastic edging around the screen bezel and dimpled rubberised chassis certainly made it feel a little toy-like. The same certainly can’t be said of the slick new version, which has slimmed down to a mere 8.7mm thick. It’s also lost weight, dropping from 340g to 290g. Combined with a thinner screen bezel (around 6mm from either side) you really notice the difference when holding the tablet one-handed – smaller hands will be able to hold it comfortably and it won’t give you wrist ache after a train journey spent leafing through eBooks. The importance of this shouldn’t be underestimated; no tablet at this size can match it in terms of how pleasant it is to hold for long periods.
The top and bottom bezels are still as thick as they were before, but arguably you need this much room to stop your thumbs from obscuring the screen. The tablet even looks a little asymmetric with the black Android interface bar at the bottom, but this is just an optical illusion and one that disappears when watching videos in landscape mode.
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